In 1950, nobody thought Detroit — by many measures then the world’s most prosperous city — would end up a half-abandoned, bankrupt, violent basket case. Nobody thought that U.S. automakers would be so inept as to fail to keep up with Japanese and European competitors, that their unions would be so corrupt and rapacious, or that the city of Detroit would slide into Third World standards of municipal governance. But bear this in mind: The automakers had large, expensive factories in Detroit. Their capital was physical. Sure, Google and Apple have real estate and physical infrastructure in California, but high-tech firms are much less tied to the land than were their industrial-age competitors. California’s cities are falling to bankruptcy and fiscal crisis like water dripping in a sink. Meanwhile, the local radicals, driven by envy and ideology, have taken to accosting Silicon Valley engineers at their homes. The companies are responding with increased reliance upon private security forces. But there are other possible responses, such as relocating to where they are more welcome.
Is San Francisco the progressives’ best counterexample to the devastation in Detroit? Ask again in 20 years.
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Is it too late to salvage California as its “Progressive” leaders seem determined to crash it into the icebergs? Writing about Occidental telling California it’s “GTT,” “Dave in Texas,” one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers writes, “I’m going to make a crazy prediction here:”
The environmentalists will lose an argument against billions of dollars in new state revenues. They’ll put up a fight, it’ll be ugly. But when the dust settles the lure of the money will be too much. And in five to ten years California will experience a surge in energy production that will bring jobs back.
Nothing else will do that.
America is on the verge of oil and gas energy independence. Something we were told could never happen.
Victor Davis Hanson offers a dozen ways to save California in his latest column, and out-Alinskying the left in the process, as time begins to run out on this once-Golden State heading further into the abyss.
Related: Time magazine repeatedly slams San Francisco venture capitalist Tom Perkins, “Forgets to Mention He’s a Democrat Donor.”
But then, so much of Occupy Wall Street and its bicoastal spinoffs such as “Occupy Oakland” and “Occupy San Fransisco” were examples of blue on blue rage.
Update: Could San Francisco eventually become Detroit? Why not — neighboring Oakland is there already.